SIMON TAYLOR was a Third Fleet convict who was tried and convicted at Warwick, England and sentenced to seven years transportation on 19 July 1788. TAYLOR sailed from Portsmouth with the Third Fleet per Matilda (1791) on 27 March 1791 and arrived in the Colony of New South Wales on 1 August 1791.
On 18 March 1794, he married the recently arrived Irish convict ANN SMITH at St. John’s, Parramatta. In early April 1799, however, ANN and SIMON became intoxicated together and retired to the bush. The next morning she was discovered lying dead, with evident marks of violence on her. ANN was buried at the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery) on 6 April 1799 and SIMON was promptly charged with her murder.
When David Collins recounted SIMON’s arrest and subsequent trial and execution, he attributed the whole to abuse of alcohol and was in no doubt about SIMON’s guilt. RICHARD RICE, the gaoler and “left-handed flogger” served as hangman, according to SIMON’s headstone inscription. However, the headstones on ANN and SIMON’s graves, presumably paid for and erected some time after by close friends of theirs, indicate that not everyone was convinced of SIMON’s guilt. ANN’s headstone is still extant, but SIMON’s is not. His inscription was fortunately reproduced in an 1834 edition of the Australian—it is the only indication that SIMON was ever buried there as he does not appear in the St. John’s Parish Burials.
- Previously marked grave, no longer extant, exact location unknown, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta
Abstract: On 31 May 1794, Anne Smith and Simon Taylor exchanged their wedding vows at Parramatta in Burramattagal Country. Before the decade was over, the bride, the groom, and the first of their three witnesses, Simon Burn, were all dead as a result of unrelated violent crimes. Indeed, Anne’s Sugar Cane (1793) shipmate, Mary Martin, would also die a terrible death at the hands of a murderer or ‘gang of ruffians’ within the close-knit community, while the Taylors’ Field of Mars neighbour, John Kenny, would have the dubious honour of becoming a rare recipient of the worst punishment reserved for murderers when he was gibbetted at Parramatta for the murder of Mary Smyth in 1807. It says a lot about the colony that horrific murders were so commonplace. Read more>>
- David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales From Its First Settlement, in January 1788, to August 1801, Vol. II, (London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1802), pp. 137, 141 [of pdf], (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), http://purl.library.usyd.edu.au/setis/id/colacc2, accessed online 5 August 2019.
- New South Wales Government, “Simon Taylor, Murder of Ann Smith otherwise Ann Taylor, 16–17 May 1799,” Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: NRS 2700; Item: [X905]; Reel 2651; Page 199, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales). See Catalogue
- New South Wales Government, “Simon Taylor, Murder of Ann Smith otherwise Ann Taylor, 16–17 May 1799,” Appendix D: Indictments, Informations and Related Papers, 1796–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Informations, Depositions and Related Papers, 1796–1824, Series: NRS 2703, Item: [5/1145]; Reel: 2392; Page: 65, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales). See Catalogue
- “Burial of ANN TAYLOR, Wife of SIMON TAYLOR, aged 26 years,” 6 April 1799, in Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
- “Marriage of SIMON TAYLOR and ANN SMITH,” 18 March 1794, in Parish Marriage Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
- “Domestic Intelligence,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 25 November 1834, p. 2.
- Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St. John’s, (Parramatta, NSW: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991), p. 132.
- Barbara Hall, A Nimble-Fingered Tribe: The Convicts of the Sugar Cane, Ireland to Botany Bay, 1793, (Coogee, NSW: B. Hall, 2002), pp. 213–15.
- Irish Convicts to New South Wales, 1788–1849 (http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi, 2011), ANNE SMITH, http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi?requestType=Search2&id=27249, accessed 5 August 2019.
# Third Fleet
# Trial Place: Warwick
# Punishment: Seven Years Transportation
# Ship: Matilda (1791)
# Marriage Place: St. John’s, Parramatta
# Burial year: 1799
# Grave: unmarked